Our Treatment Approach
At MD Anderson, your treatment for uterine cancer is customized just for you by some of the nation's leading experts. They work in teams, collaborating at every step, to be sure you receive comprehensive, yet highly specialized care.
We personalize your care to include the most advanced treatments with the least impact on your body. For uterine cancer, surgery often is one of the main treatments.
Surgical Skill, Experience
Like all surgeries, uterine cancer surgery is most successful when done by a specialist with a great deal of experience in the particular procedure. MD Anderson surgeons are among the most skilled and recognized in the world.
They perform a large number of uterine cancer surgeries each year, using the least-invasive and most-advanced techniques. For some patients, minimally invasive surgeries can mean faster healing and less time in the hospital.
And we're constantly researching newer, safer and more effective uterine cancer treatments. MD Anderson is one of the only cancer centers in the nation to house a $10 million federally funded uterine cancer SPORE (Specialized Program of Research Excellence) program. We're leading the way in uterine cancer research, which means we can offer a variety of clinical trials of new therapies.
Our Uterine Cancer Treatments
If you are diagnosed with uterine cancer, your doctor will discuss the best options to treat it. This depends on several factors, including the type and stage of the cancer and your general health. One or more of the following therapies may be recommended to treat uterine cancer or help relieve symptoms.
Surgery is the main treatment for uterine cancer. Usually surgery for uterine cancer includes:
- Total hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus)
- Bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of both ovaries and Fallopian tubes)
- Biopsy of the omentum, a fat pad in the pelvis
- Removal of lymph nodes in the pelvis and lower abdomen
Sometimes a radical hysterectomy is done. This means removal of the:
- Cervix and surrounding tissue
- Upper vagina
Depending on your health and how far uterine cancer has spread, surgery may be:
- Minimally invasive: After making several small incisions (cuts) in the abdomen, the doctor uses a laparoscope or robotic surgery to remove the organs. The uterus often is removed through the vagina.
- Open: A large incision is made in the abdomen.
Surgery for uterine cancer may include:
Pelvic washings: The surgeon puts saline (salt water) into the pelvic area after the uterus has been removed. The saline is then examined under a microscope.
Tumor debulking: If the cancer has spread into the abdomen, it may be debulked. This means the surgeon removes as much of the cancer as possible before other types of treatment.
Radiation therapy may be used to treat uterine cancer after a hysterectomy or as the main treatment when surgery is not possible. Depending on the stage and grade of the cancer, radiation therapy also may be used at other points of treatment.
New radiation therapy techniques and remarkable skill allow MD Anderson doctors to target uterine cancer tumors more precisely, delivering the maximum amount of radiation with the least damage to healthy cells.
MD Anderson provides the most advanced radiation treatments for uterine cancer, including:
- Brachytherapy: Tiny radioactive seeds are placed in the body close to the tumor
- 3D-conformal radiation therapy: Several radiation beams are given in the exact shape of the tumor
- Intensity-modulated radiotherapy (IMRT): Treatment is tailored to the specific shape of the tumor
Talk to your doctor about possible side effects of radiation treatment for uterine cancer. Some women get lymphedema in their legs. This is caused by blockage of the lymph fluid. Lymphedema may not start until months after treatment, but it usually does not go away. However, there are treatments to help.
MD Anderson offers the most up-to-date and advanced chemotherapy options for uterine cancer.
Some hormones can cause certain uterine cancers to grow. If tests show the cancer cells have receptors where hormones can attach, drugs can be used to reduce hormones or block them from working.
Hormones that may be used to treat uterine cancer include:
- Aromatase inhibitors
Our Uterine Cancer Clinical Trials
MD Anderson is proud to be one of the only cancer centers in the nation to house a prestigious federally funded SPORE (Specialized Program of Research Excellence) program. We’re studying new ways to prevent and treat uterine cancers to give patients everywhere futures filled with hope.
Because of our status as one of the world’s premier cancer centers, MD Anderson participates in many clinical trials (research studies) for uterine cancer. Sometimes they are a patient’s best option for treatment. Other times, they help researchers learn how to treat cancer and improve the future of cancer treatment.